Manchin announces $ 249,000 for WVU research projects


MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Joe Manchin announced $ 249,963 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for an environmental science research project through the West Virginia University Research Corporation.

The university’s environmental science research project studies climate change. The program uses cameras from the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON) towers and laser measurements (LiDAR) to study the trees.

“We are interested in understanding how the shape of trees affects the way the forest interacts with climate,” said Brenden McNeil, associate professor of geography at the University of West Virginia. “So how can the forest help slow climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and how our climate change is affecting the forest in terms of tree species adapted to a world wetter and warmer than us? let’s wait here in West Virginia. ”

Experts said that forests currently slow climate change by 25%.

The project is being worked on by undergraduates as well as hundreds of sixth graders. Their goal is to help educate people about forest management for the future.

“It’s a job that WVU funded for a while,” McNeil said. “I got a lot of seed funding from the University of West Virginia and the NASA Space Grants Program in West Virginia and it’s so great to finally expand this work, this seed money. , in a full-fledged project and to use this very large public investment of the national ecological observation network.

The funding will help researchers study forests across the country.

“The University of West Virginia continues to lead the country in various areas of research, including environmental science. This National Science Foundation investment will support important research studying the impact of climate change on trees, while engaging and teaching West Virginia students, ”said Senator Manchin. “The National Science Foundation is a great partner for West Virginia and I look forward to seeing the results of this research project, which will help maximize forest growth and keep West Virginia wild and wonderful for generations. futures. I will continue to push for funding that helps mountain state research projects succeed. ”

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